You know, when COVID was spreading at an alarmingly quick speed in the UK earlier this year, it provided me with the biggest external incentive to keep going with my recently-started weight loss journey. Stats were coming out about the greater chance of hospital admissions, etc. when being overweight or obese and, yes, I was frightened. Being super morbidly obese with a BMI of 50, I knew that I could end up being seriously ill if I caught the virus. I know it can still affect anyone but, with numbers increasing again, I guess I’m taking some reassurance that I’m doing everything possible to be okay should I get it. And there are some other bonuses along the way! Smaller clothes sizes, having lots of spare space in the garden chairs that I used to struggle to fit into and ticking off all my mini goals along the way! For me, it’s not just about reaching destination Goal Weight but the journey too.
What’s Erika done well this week?
I’ve lost 2lbs
I’m under 17 stone
My BMI is now under 36
My belly and hips are now 48″ (after starting out at 58″ and 59″ respectively)
My waist is now 38″ after starting out at 45″
What could Erika improve on?
I can still do better on the fruit and veg front. I’m SO bad at this!
Erika’s next target(s):
Walk/run the virtual London marathon on 4th October! Yes, I have an official place on this race
5 more lbs until I can have a helicopter lesson
7 more lbs until I’ve lost 100 lbs in total and my BMI is under 35 – I’m so excited about this!
Later this week, I’m going to blog about the fear of GPs and anything medical. Yes, I think this links to my weight and size and I really don’t ‘do’ doctors but more about that on Thursday or Friday.
And, before I go, I just want to say ‘thank you’ for reading my blog. Truly, if feels as if I’m not on this journey alone and I can’t tell you how much it means to be able to share all my weird and crazy thoughts aloud 🙂
Do you know? It almost likes a huge relief to get under 250 lbs as I’m now nearer to 200 than 300 (having started this journey at 329). I thought I’d do myself a report card for this week:
What’s Erika done well this week?!
I lost 3 lbs! According to the MY Weight app, I lose 2.95 lbs each week on average.
I exercised daily. As well as miles and miles of walking, I’ve been doing daily workouts which I’ve loved. In fact, I’m discovering that exercising helps me to clear my head.
I had a Chinese takeaway but made sensible choices. Oh, no, a takeaway???!!! Yes, we can still have a takeaway and lose weight! I chose chicken with mushrooms with two spoonfuls of my husband’s boiled rice and I was full.
I had a pizza takeaway! Yes, two takeaways in one week! But I chose a small one with an Italian base (which is thin), reduced fat mozzarella, tandoori chicken and mushrooms. According to the Dominoes app, this came out at around 900 calories but I don’t eat the crusts so it would have been slightly less. I usually have rocket in my fridge that I throw on top which is a great way to bulk up food without piling on the calories.
What could Erika improve on?
Drink water. I really need to drink much more. After getting into the pattern of doing this a few weeks back, I shamefully almost lived on Diet Coke this week but watch out for next Monday’s blog to see if I’ve addressed the balance.
Possible eat more. You see, after having anorexia many years and getting caught up in the obsessive counting, I’m not counting every calorie I eat although I’m aiming for roughly 1200-1400 calories. But I think I’ve had days where I may have gone quite a bit less than this which could impact on my metabolism, etc.
As you’ll see in the table below, my BMI is almost down to 37.5 (after starting at 50) and to get under this is my next mini target as I’ll be halfway through the obese class II category (which goes from 35-39.9).
Later this week, I’m going to blog about emotional eating because I’ve been there, especially in the past. As I mentioned the other day, last week was the first time I’d nearly lost the grip on this new lifestyle but I didn’t give in. I’m still here with no cheat days or cheat meals….but more about that on Thursday/Friday.
Yes, having lost a whopping 5 lbs this week, I now have exactly 100 lbs to go until I hit my target weight and that feels pretty good as my ‘weight still to lose’ is almost in double-digits. For me, losing weight is all about mind games I guess and just finding all these milestones along the way.
I’ve now been wearing a Fitbit for a few days. They’re pretty good, aren’t they?! It’s great that it tells me whether I’m working out hard enough to be in the ‘fat burn’ or ‘cardio’ zones which may have contributed to losing more weight this week but, being very open with you, it’s hard to not get a little bit obsessed with all the figures it tells me. Have I taken enough steps? Have I walked 8k? Have I burned 2,800 calories each day? Have I walked up a flight of stairs 10 times? Was my sleep ‘good enough’?! STOP!!!! I’ve amended some of these targets which were pre-set because, Erika, I need to be kind to myself!
In the obesity class II zone
After sharing with you the other day that I’m no longer morbidly obese (yay!!), it’s brilliant to see on the MY Weight app that I’ve gone down to the zone beneath (i.e. BMI between 35-39.99). That top pink zone for 40+ BMI is pretty big and I wondered if I’d ever get out of it but I’ve now got 4.3 BMI points (or 29 lbs) to go until I move into the next one. Not every week is going to yield big loses and I’ve been lucky so far that my weight hasn’t completely stalled so far but if I keep doing what I’m doing, I will get back into those skinny jeans eventually. Actually, I couldn’t help myself last night but I tried them on. Well, I couldn’t get them above my knees and some of the material wouldn’t go above my large calves. But I took a photo nonetheless which I’ll share with you once I can also share a photo of myself wearing them!
The other thing I’m noticing is that, for quite some time, I was beyond the weight limit to do many things but I’m now heading towards several goals of being ‘light enough’. So, I’m 6 lbs off being able to go in a hot air balloon and 13 lbs off going on a Segway. Once we’re out of the COVID pandemic, I’ll be out there trying all these new things. I’m even considering joining a weekly boot camp. I never thought I’d hear myself say that! But I want to be able to kneel down without being in pain first. If you’re new to my blog, feel free to check out the pages showing all the things I’d like to do as I get smaller and lighter.
And this week…
So, I’m going to blog a couple more times this week. Wednesday, I’ll share with you some of those difficult experiences where my weight caused huge problems …and then, on Friday, I’ll tell you all about completing Couch to 5K which I’m still buzzing about!
Have a great week everyone and I’ll be back here in a couple of days
So, my weight is coming off, I’m on course to lose quite a few pounds this week and I thought I’d share with you what I’m eating. I’d like to tell you that I’m eating copious amounts of fruit, veg, fish and lean meat but I’m not. You see, the biggest change I’ve made it about quantity. It can be very easy to guess how many calories we’re taking in but the results can be quite shocking.
Take this cereal for instance. When I see the box, I think it oozes wholesomeness and it must be super healthy Beforehand, I’d eat a huge bowl food (but dry! Yes, I don’t like milk). However, when I looked up the calories and weighed MY typical portion, I was horrified! What I now do is actually have this as a treat if I’m peckish in the afternoons (which is about every 3 weeks). I use a tiny white bowl to make it feel like I’m eating more and just pour in enough to cover its base…..resulting in a 88 calorie snack. Far better than the 750 I was consuming before!
One tip to start being aware of what you’re eating is to photo everything. Yes, photograph everything that goes in your mouth because reflecting on it at the end of the day can help you see where changes can be made.
I keep to around 1,200 calories a day because the key thing is to go into calorie deficit. The only way to lose weight is to take in fewer calories that you’re burning. Although I exercise and could theoretically treat myself whilst remaining in calorie deficit, I see that every workout means burning even more calories overall. But I have to put up my hands and admit that I don’t always get to 1,200 calories. Sometimes, I eat a lot less which is where I have to be careful not to slip back into anorexic behaviour. I’m working on this! 1,200 is my goal.
I love ready meals because they tell me how many calories I’m eating plus how much fat, etc.
This is one of my favourite ready meals right now as it’s under 400 calories. There’s no point eating healthily if it’s not tasty and I love food that smacks the taste buds and makes you feel full. The other thing I do is to eat food when it’s super hot. It takes me longer to eat and tricks my mind into thinking I’ve just had a huge meal.
And we had a takeaway tonight from our local Indian restaurant. I ordered half a portion of boiled rice and chicken tikka which comes without a heavy sauce but a yoghurt (which I poured half onto the chicken). So takeaways are allowed. It’s about making smart choices.
No sweet food
Some people can lose weight whilst merely cutting back on snacks like chocolate, biscuits and cakes. But I know myself well enough to know that this approach won’t work for me. I used to have a very sweet tooth and a packet of biscuits would soon disappear. But since cutting out all sweet food, I’m so much happier with savoury food and I can easily pass on biscuits when my family’s eating it. It’s a while until any family birthdays so let’s see if I can resist the temptation of cake then!
When I started this journey, I made a concerted effort to eat breakfast despite never having really been a breakfast person. This was when I was eating the above cereal. However, I’ve restricted my eating hours from midday to 8pm. I can’t tell you how much this has helped me! You see, before I’d snack away all evening, often oblivious to what was going in my mouth. My pattern of eating is officially known as 16:8 intermittent fasting (IF) but there are different ways of doing such as having 2 very low calorie days a week. However, you still have to be in calorie deficit overall.
So, in a typical day, I’ll eat:
noon: lunch which is either a one-round sandwich on granary bread or an open sandwich (such as mackerel) on an open sandwich with one slice of bread.
afternoon: if I’m peckish, I’ll have the cereal treat, a cereal bar or piece of fruit
dinner around 6/7pm: usually meat with lots of veg. However, I may have other things like a personalised pizza with low fat cheese and topped with a bucket of rocket lettuce or mushrooms. I might have a ready meal. I might have a jacket potato with tuna and sweetcorn plus salad on the side.
And I don’t feel hungry. I’ve really upped how much water I’m drinking despite never being a water person. And the diet coke is now more of a treat…..I’m not getting rid of that completely!
At the end of the day, I think it’s about finding a way of eating that’s sustainable.
Anyway folks, I’ll be back on Monday with my next weigh-in. Before then, I’ll have run for 20 minutes non-stop as part of Couch to 5K and I’ve really got my fingers crossed that Monday’s going to be a huge result. I’m SO SO close to no longer being morbidly obese!
Well, it’s Monday and that means it’s time to share with you the results of standing on the scales this morning: I’ve lost 5lbs this week! Yay! Now that I’m 290lbs, I’m just 3lbs away from my previously known heaviest weight of 287lbs and I guess I feel as if I’m heading back into familiar territory, if that makes sense. There’s something wonderfully comforting about that.
But my even bigger news to tell you is that I got on the scales ON MY OWN! As you know, I’ve been hauling a chair onto the scales with me as I’d been too scared to see my ‘real weight’ and, suspecting the chair was about 28lbs, it gave me a rough idea of how much I actually weighed. However, on Saturday night, I was almost tying myself in knots researching the chair online, desperate to find a website that would give me its exact weight. I mean, what if the chair weighed 21lbs and therefore I was 7lbs heavier than I thought I was? It was like I couldn’t switch off and so, recognising that I needed to stop the obsessive thoughts, I knew I had to be brave, get on the scales alone and ‘just’ deal with it. So, I got on to find that the chair really is 28lbs! Yes, it was a relief that I’d estimated the chair correctly but you know, it was more of a relief that I could now deal with my new lifestyle in a less complicated way.
Hopefully I can lose 3lbs soon and reach that first big goal but I’ve also been thinking about the activities I’d love to do that have a weight limit, such as going on a zip wire or having a helicopter flying lesson. Just knowing that I CAN do these activities will be amazing but more about that next time!
With my second weigh-in this morning, I really hoped that I’d lose a good amount. Of course, it’s important to lose weight at a sensible rate but I’ve also read that the more you have to lose in the first place, the quicker it can come off when starting the new lifestyle journey…..and the scales did not disappoint! 6lbs lost! I’m certain that this figure will slow down to perhaps 1 or 2 lbs a week but I hope it’s okay to say that, in the meantime, I’m really chuffed. However, as well as the weight loss, it also means that I’ve now reached two milestones. First, it means that I’m now under 300 lbs. Part of me is SO happy yet another part is thinking how on earth did I get to 300lbs over the past few years. I do feel ashamed but dwelling on it isn’t going to help. But the main thing is that I’m now making myself home in the 200 club which I hope will be a welcoming place to be as I pass by before moving onto the 100 club at some point. The other milestone is that my BMI is now 44.9 so I’ve got under the 45 mark
The other thing I did this morning was to take my official ‘before’ photos from the front and side. They’re not great viewing and they won’t show my weight loss so far (including some weight loss before I was brave to weigh myself a fortnight ago) but perhaps I can be brave and share these with you some time. I’m a bit nervous about that to be honest. Perhaps it’s about being judged and revealing my body when I go to lengths to hide it usually so I hope you’ll be kind! Hopefully when I get back into those skinny jeans and leather knee high boots that I last wore in 2012, I can look back at the photos to see how far I came.
I’m still doing my 40 minutes of walking each day around my living room and I’ve started to increase the number of repetitions when doing my upper body exercises. You know, it was only a few months ago when I remember my back hurting from just standing up to do the washing up so my fitness is getting there. How I’d love to run a 5K one day! Never say never! Long term goals are just as important as the short term ones.
Finally, I’ve decided that I will start to weigh myself without the huge chair that I hold above my head as I get onto the scales! From what I’ve read online, I think the chair weighs 28lbs so, once the scales suggest that me and me alone may actually be under 20 stone, perhaps that’s the time to ditch the chair and get on ‘naked’!!!
If you’re on your own journey, please feel free to share your successes and challenges here
When I read a news article today about Adele thanking key workers here in the UK, I had to look twice! Her 7 stone weight loss makes her look unrecognisable and I had to read it twice to make sure that I was thinking of the same singer! But, as somebody with a LOT of weight to lose, looking at people’s before and after photos really inspires me to see how things could be if I stick to this new lifestyle of being kind to myself, sticking to 3 meals a day and some exercises right here in my living room. I’m unlikely to be someone who’s going to be eating 5 portions of fruit and veg. I’m really not very adventurous when it comes to trying new food but if I at least aim for 2 portions a day, that’s a massive improvement from before. And this is how I’m approaching this journey. Small, realistic changes that I can sustain going forward.
Whilst Monday morning is my weekly day to weigh in, I’m measuring myself every 6 weeks (bust, waist, belly, hips and calf) and tomorrow is my next measuring day. But it’s a bit nerve-wracking. What if I haven’t lose any inches? What if the feeling of my body getting a tiny bit smaller is completely in my head? Aagghh!! It’s the same before jumping on the scales and desperately hoping that the numbers have shifted. Even, if it’s a 1/4 of an inch lost anywhere compared to 6 weeks ago, at least it’s heading in the right direction!
In my next post, I’ll share with you what’s lead my new positive approach to me looking after me…. finally!
If you’re on a weight loss journey, do you take measurements? I’d love to know if you do and whether you find it helpful. Feel free to celebrate your successes here!
So. before I tell you how much weight I’ve lost in my first week since weighing myself, I thought I’d tell you about exercise. No, I’m not about to tell you that I’ve been doing yoga, going for a 5K run or cycling for an hour everyday. if only I could do those things! Before starting to control what I eat, I would get puffed out just walking up the stairs. I’d circle the car park to get the nearest parking space to the store. I’d avoid sitting on the floor as there’s no way I could get up again without a real struggle.
As I mentioned the other day, I’ve started to control my food intake since 14 February (and I’ll share with you soon about what led to this) and, in this time, I’ve lost 5 inches from my hips and 3 inches from my waist purely by cutting out any snacks between meals. Back in February, I was far too scared to jump on the scales so I grabbed the tape measure instead. However, after me and the chair got on the scales a week ago (which revealed a TERRIFYING figure even taking into account the weight of the chair), I felt that I needed to start moving my body so, for the past 7 days, I’ve walked for 40 minutes……around my living room! Now, this hasn’t been 40 minutes in one go. Goodness, no! It’s been broken down into 4 lots of 10 minutes and I think breaking it down has helped, especially with the TV or radio on as helpful distraction. And, since Wednesday, I’ve also been doing exercises to work on my upper body whilst sitting down made up of:
1. stretching my arms out and doing small circles forwards and backwards 20 times in each direction (repeated later in the day)
2. 60 air punches with each arm towards a clock sitting on my mantlepiece (repeated later in the day)
3. starting with a prayer poise, raising my arms slowly up as far as possible and very slowly bringing my arms down to the side making a huge circle very slowly and back into a prayer poise 10 times (and again repeated in the day).
The key thing is that I’ve started to move my body. It’s not been easy to find the motivation to start this, especially when the sofa is my favourite place in the house! But, since weighing myself a week ago, I’ve lost……..7 lbs. I can’t tell you how chuffed I am! I know not every week is going to be like this and there may be weeks where I think “What’s the point?” but I need to think of the much longer goal rather than let the number on the scales dictate my mood and how I feel about myself. Nothing has felt better than ticking off each exercise activity on my to-do list and feeling as I’m doing something positive about myself.
I’ve only just started this blog but I’m SO grateful to the people following me already. Welcome! My plan is to blog 2-3 times a week with weekly weigh ins, updates on the inches lost, more information about me and my weight battle and so much more…..
The first post on a new blog is rather scary! There’s so much I want to tell you but we’ve got lots of time to get to know each other, haven’t we! I mean, losing 150lbs (about 10 stone) isn’t going to be a goal that I can accomplish in the next month so I’m going to be blogging for quite some time.
First, I need to confess something – I THINK it’s 150lbs I need to lose. I was too scared to get on the scales on my own so I lifted a very large angel high-backed chair with me so that I could glance at the scales and think “Well, at least I’m not X amount”. I’d love to know if I’m only one who gets on scales with furniture, pets or children! I’ve been Googling the weight of the chair and it’s coming up 28lbs (over 12.5 kg) so I think I have an idea about my true weight but I need to shift some more weight more before I get on ‘naked’, without anything clinging to me or held above my head!
I must tell you that I have a history of bulimia and anorexia and so it’s vitally important that I do this in a really healthy way, a more sustainable way than in the past. 9 years ago, I was very ill with anorexia and put my heart at risk. I was obsessing about minimal calories over 6 months and was almost sectioned under the UK Mental Health Act due its physical toll. But more on that another time.
The last thing to share right now is that I started this journey on 14 February (absolutely no link to being Valentine’s Day). I wanted to make sure that I was beginning this journey healthily before blogging and I wanted to see if I could sustain healthy eating for more than 3 weeks (usually the point in a diet when I reach for the candy and biscuits!). But, with 2.5 months gone, I think I’m now ready do share my 150lbs weight loss with you which will be on top of however much weight I’ve already lost.
And I promise to be open, very open with you. I’ll tell you about some exercise I’m starting and what I’m eating. And, in my next blog, I’ll tell you what the scales said!